Star India is venturing into the regional space in a big way. It will be launching a 24-hour Bengali general entertainment channel in September 2008. This would be followed by GECs in Marathi and Gujarati. Star India had recently appointed JC Giri as Executive Vice President and GM, Regional Channels. He will handle the portfolio of Star’s regional channels and see through their launches.
The name of the Bengali channel is yet to be finalised and several names for the proposed channel are doing the rounds.
Star India has made some other key appointments for the channels. Gaurav Bannerjee has been appointed as Content Head for all the regional channels. This apart, each of the regional channels would have separate Content Heads.
Yubaraj Bhattacharya has been roped in as Programming & Content Head for the Bengali channel. He brings with him years of experience in advertising, production and television. He had earlier worked with Black Magic Motion Pictures and in Programming for Star Ananda.
It is believed that the soon-to-be-launched Bengali channel already has a few mega serials on the floor. Well-known teleserial director Ravi Ojha will be doing a serial for the channel. Ojha had earlier directed serials like ‘Khela’, ‘Mohana’ and ‘Ek Akasher Niche’ for Zee Bangla.
There would also be a realty show and a celebrity chat show with acclaimed film director Rituporno Ghosh as the anchor. Apart from telefilms and serials, the channel is also in the process of acquiring Bengali movie rights for telecast.
It is also believed that Bates Kolkata would handle the creative duties for the news channel.